Over the past several years, Laura and I have talked with many students on how to set up their daily and weekly plans when studying for the RD exam. There is certainly no one-size-fits-all strategy for this concept. And, depending on your goals, personality, and anal-retentiveness, this approach may or may not work for you. With that said, let’s dive in.
Setting your own daily and weekly schedule can be challenging if you aren’t used to it. Working from home can be especially challenging because of all these darn distractions! Kitty or dog needs food, need to be taken out for a walk, oh, there’s that load of laundry that needs to be done…
At Sage, we are all about having a plan. Which is why we create tools for students to help structure their study times and days.
We especially love this quote by Steven Covey…
“Plan for tomorrow, today. – Steven Covey”
Having a plan will help put you at ease and help you know exactly what you are going to do with your day. And when you plan for your day AHEAD of time, you will boost your productivity, start your day off on solid foundation, and keep your mind from going into overdrive when something unexpected pops up.
The weekly worksheet is based on Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. A great book, I highly suggest you read it. I’ve simplified my version of the weekly worksheet to be more task-oriented
Below is an example of the Weekly Worksheet filled-in. I like to use color coding for easy coordination between my eyeballs and mind.
Advantages of this method
- The cells are arranged in 30 minute chunks of time. This is conducive to the pomodoro method for studying. Good for those with ADHD, a lot of tasks on their plate, or those trying to study a little bit every day. Below are the steps of the pomodoro method:
- Pick a study topic (be specific, for example: diabetes MNT)
- Set a 25-minute timer
- Work on your task: brain dump, retrieval worksheet, quiz
- Take a 5 minute break
- For every 4 pomodoro cycles, take a longer 15-30 minute break.
- You are looking at the tasks at hand. A weekly plan allows you to not get too ahead of yourself. You can clearly see your week planned out. We do recommend also having a monthly view, just so you can know what to expect in the following weeks. Here is a free monthly template by Day Designer we really like.
Here’s how to use the Weekly Worksheet
1. Make a list of every single task you must complete for your week. This includes laundry, study time, cooking, family time, grocery store runs, working out, praying, meditation, quiet time, face time with friends, commute time, work. Every single thing.
2. Plug tasks into your calendar. I like using color coding to help break up the schedule.
3. Print out and stick to it.
If you are looking for a low-cost option with some fun detail, check out this weekly tear off sheet pad I absolutely LOVE! It’s $14.95 for an entire year of weekly planning.
The funny thing is, once you start plugging tasks into your calendar, you start to realize how much time you actually have, and how much more productive you could be.
So, use this to help structure your day and let me know how it goes!
Stay tuned, I’ll be sending out some more tips and resources to help you in studying and life endeavors.